Flax field

Flax field

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yes, and How are the looms doing?

I have been getting some weaving done.  It was nice to have the warp-weighted looms picked up, cleared out the garage and tidied up the PCH studio.
The three finished looms.
I hope they all work out well for the movie scenes.  I did get an email that the designer was pleased with them.

I have also been having a lot of fun with the little Cricket loom.  I got the Dogwood Runner off, but I still need to hem it.  I decided to put on as big of a warp that I felt the loom could handle.  It is 15" wide and 5 yards long.
Threaded full width
Wound a very full warp beam
I used the cotton/rayon slub that I used for the summer scarves last year, here

but because it is so fine, I doubled it in all the eyes on the reed.  I then wound leftover yarns in the denim color range for all the slots.  Because the leftover yarns are thicker, I chose to put them in the slots.

Weaving is going well the fabric looks good.  Will I have enough for a simple jacket?

Close-up of the weave
Although I wound the warp very carefully, the slot yarns (the thicker ones) seemed loose, and the more I wove the looser they got.  Maybe those yarns have more stretch than the cotton/rayon slub.  I have added a cardboard filler on the back beam, but I will probably have to weight a stick on the warp beam before I finish weaving the warp, I think I have only woven about one yard...I was so excited to get weaving I didn't put a tape measure to check...maybe I can still add it.

Rolled cardboard added to help get a clean shed

The blanket on the Leclerc 60" loom is actually weaving up well!  I was surprised how quickly I went from throwing the shuttle across the room, to just throwing it to the opposite edge of the warp.  I still slide pretty fast across the beam to catch the shuttle, but it is not as hard as it was when I started.

But now when I look at the piece, the squares are "square".  This yarn will probably take-up a lot, because it is a knitting worsted, so by blocks will shrink to flat rectangles.  Oh well, at least I am learning to weave on this loom and the parts I replaced are working well.

The two looms that had crackle samples on them, also got woven off .  The samples turned out fine, but I am still questioning my skill and knowledge of crackle.  I need to do some more work on it.
I tried several versions of crackle.  This sample shows the traditional (overshot style), classical style (with no tabby) and classical style with three colors.  Previously I had only woven it overshot fashion.  I really like the three color weaving, it has lots of room to explore.  Wilson's book is great with this and I want to work through more of her examples.

And here is a sample woven in several versions of "Italian fashion".  I found several different versions of "Italian fashion" in several books and wove them to compare.  Interesting, and it answered a question I ran into reading a new crackle book.  "Why is my Italian Fashion different from yours?"  I guess there have been a number of interpretations of this lifting method and all of them are interesting.  I tried two of them with three colors and with two colors.

I have been fascinated with the Italian fashion as explained by Mary M. Atwater.  She talks about dissecting a towel from Italy and getting the treadling.  When I reread the information in the Shuttlecraft book, it states that the towel was all white and in a "soft" cotton.  So I tried it all in white and then in white and colored to see the pattern better.

My sampler uses much thicker yarn than she probably used, but I think the ratio is pretty good for the warp I had on the loom.

I feel like I need to explore crackle more.  I really want to put it on more than 4 shafts and I have been reading information about the crackle study group in Complex Weavers.  I will probably have to borrow their samples sometime in the future.  For now I need to get my crackle notes is better order and work on the possibility of a future class.

We I did get some weaving done, and I did empty some looms, but I also warped the looms again and am trying to figure what I want to do.  The Big Mac and the Baby Wolf have not been touched and I really need to clean up around them so I can get weaving.  I am teaching less this summer so maybe I can get more of my weaving done.

Thanks to my doctor visit and some changes in prescriptions and eating habits, I seem to be sleeping better and getting more done during the day...not napping as much.  I hope that continues to improve and I continue to get more energy for the things around me and my craft.

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